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How to Use the Customized Weekly Planner

This program is designed for Home Schoolers but easily has applications to the home life of those not homeschooling!
Feel free to distribute this planner. You must include these five original files when distributing to others. Good luck!

Upon decompressing the planner.zip file you downloaded five files are created on your hard disk (all files in Word 6.0/95 and Excel 95 formats):
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Weekly Planner Template.doc - Contains a basic template for a weekly class schedule for one student.

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Curriculum File.doc - Contains a "data base table' where you can enter the weekly tasks for your curriculum for one student. If you have multiple children it might be easier for you to use and Excel Spreadsheet for your Curriculum File.

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Lined Side Template.doc - This template creates a useable lined page for the backside of each Weekly Planner you generate. First print out your child's weekly planner. Flip them over and feed them through your printer again using this template.

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How to use these Templates.doc - This is a how-to document similar to what is here on-line!

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Excel Master Planner.xls - This file can be used in lieu of the word Curriculum File. I discuss the advantages and disadvantages below.

Here is a four-step process to create your own Weekly Planners using the above templates. Remember these templates can be fully customized by you to meet your own needs. This example assumes you are using only the Word documents, not the Excel master planner.

  1. Open the Curriculum File. Change/Add any titles to the top row to reflect your curriculum. Enter your curriculum for each week of your academic year. This file is set for Four nine-week Quarters. After entering your data "Save" your work. Close the file.
  2. Next open the Weekly Planner Template. In this file you'll want to make the same title changes/additions as you made in the Curriculum File. As well, you can add other items as shown in the example Template. Note when you changed a title in the Curriculum File you'll now have to change/add the "Merge Codes" for that new column on the appropriate place on your Weekly Planner Template. After entering your customization on the Template "Save" your work. Close the file.
  3. Merge the two files. Open your Weekly Planner Template. Select "Tools" and "Mail Merge" from your pull-down menu. Main Document, Data Source and Merge the Data with Your Document will be listed in the pop-up window as a three-step process.

    a) MAIN DOCUMENT: Click Create under Main Document and a pull-down menu will appear. Click on Form Letters., then a pop-up will ask you to select either Active Window or New Main Document. Click on Active Window and this will set your Weekly Planner Template as the "merge letter" for this process.

    b) DATA SOURCE: Click "Tools" and "Mail Merge" from your pull-down menu again. This time click Get Data under Data Source and another pull-down menu will appear. Click on Open Data Source and a "Windows based file browser window" will allow you to Click on your Curriculum File. Click OK.

    c) MERGE THE DATA: Click Merge and yet another pop-up window will magically appear! This is the Merge options window. Here you can select precise rows of data to merge with your Weekly Planner Template. In other words, if I just want the Second quarter Curriculum data for my child's work I can limit the merge to rows 10-18. Be sure the Merge to: selection says New Document! This will allow the Merge to create a new document for your final results instead of overwriting your Weekly Planner Template.

  4. Save the New Document by giving it a new name.in this case I might name the final merged documents "Jane's Second Quarter Work list". After saving your document print on 8.5 x 11 paper. I print out my curriculum one quarter at a time as needed. This way if I need to make changes to the workload I can do so without having to print out the whole year.

    Next put the weeks you just printed back in your printer (be sure to turn the paper so you won't print lines over what you just printed) to print the "Lined Side Template" on the back of each weeks work. This gives lined paper between each week for other record keeping like book lists, report due dates, field trips, etc.

    After printing fold in half and tear the page in half. Note how the left and right margins have now become the inside (rings end) edge for you to three-hole punch! You'll see how the pages fit together to display Monday through Sunday then punch holes appropriately for your binder (see below).

I picked up a nice binder for $7.99 at Miejer (or check Walmart or a like store). The binder is made by Annapolis and called a Personal Padfolio Notebook. I found them near the Student Planners in the school supply section of the store. Line up the papers and use a hand-punch to make the holes.

Keep grading records and everything on this simple to use template. I have the kids record what books they've read, book reports, field trips.everything!

Using the Excel Master Planner

The primary benefit of the Excel Master Planner is all your individual plans for each child is in one file instead of having separate word files per child. As well, you don't have to worry about the crazy formating Word uses in creating tables, since tables are intuitive in Excel.

The only real trick is before you work on a template the spread sheet you are using must be listed first in order prior to opening the Template. This way the headings in the Excel Master Planner will properly correspond to the Merge codes in your Word Template.

Copyright © 2000 Andrew Bare

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